Most young Greeks are students

Greece has the highest proportion of young undergraduates in the European Union but the lowest rate of older students, according to an EU-wide report published in Brussels yesterday, which also found that Greek female private sector employees are paid about 20 less than their male colleagues. The Eurostat survey found that, in Greece in 2000, 57 percent of men aged 18-21 were enrolled in universities and technical colleges, as were a stunning 63 percent of women in the same age group. The lowest rate was in Denmark – 7 percent for male and 10 percent for female students. At the same time, only 9 percent of Greek men and 8 percent of Greek women aged 22-24 were enrolled at universities or technical colleges, while for the 25-28 age group the corresponding figure was 3 percent for both sexes. The survey also found that female employees in the EU receive, on average, four-fifths of their male colleagues’ salaries. In Greece, the situation was found to be worse in the private sector, where women were paid an average 79 percent of what their male colleagues in the same position were getting. In the public sector, the discrepancy was 9 percent. The Eurostat report also confirmed a tendency among Europeans to marry later than their parents did. This trend was found to be considerably lower in Greece than in other countries, with the average marrying age for men being 30.3 in 1999, compared to 28.7 in 1980. The average Greek woman married at the age of 26.5 in 1999, up from 24.7 in 1980. Meanwhile, according to the survey, elderly people in Greece feel less lonely than in other, mainly central and northern European countries.